Building on Strengths

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You are not your illness//The illness is ALL YOU

Don’t take the easy surrender when you face “symptoms” or triggers, especially after they or “Illness” has been identified in you.

“You are not your Illness”

Knowing what your “diagnosis” is, is useful in understanding the traits in your character and mood patterns that result in difficulties. However, being diagnosed should not aid you in giving you an easier time than “normal” folks.

Many advocates thus tell you: “you are not your illness”.

Actually, it is pressing to know that:

The “illness is ALL YOU” (even though you are NOT your illness).

What I mean is that you, are a unique Human being. You are a person, a person with a personality. These characteristics, including your traits and moderation of mood, when permutated with certain circumstances, reflect traits of what doctors, psychologists and researchers have identified and studied to enshrine as “Mental Illness”. This has occurred over the history of the development of modern medical and behavioural science.

But a diagnosis is useless – and in fact, can be very harmful as it connotes an identifier or label. Diagnosis feeds disorder and dysfunction by exacerbating the initial difficulty that an individual experiences into disempowerment in the traditional medical setting and within the current medical model. The individual perceives him or herself as having a disease or even as being disabled. I am not “normal”. This cycle is enforced when he or she is not treated “normal” if this information is disclosed to others.

What then can someone do if they are identified as mentally ill?

I would want to know what the traits of my diagnosis and symptoms are supposed to be, to see if they are consistent with the patterns in my behaviour that play out from my personality repertoire in certain circumstances. I need to own the characteristic traits that are correlated to my challenges. Not accepting the identifier of illness, but being aware of the things and areas that set me off allows me to start to make active change. This empowers me to own who I am. I am self-aware. I am proactive.

Beyond that, I also want to be a contributing participant of the bigger community around me. So often, psychology, especially the therapy approaches used, bring us inward. We reflect on our lives, our past relationships, early development. (What went wrong?) It is not wrong to be kind to, respect and explore oneself – However, outside of ourselves is a community and a world of both opportunity and yet a world that is for the most part perishing, (if you hadn’t noticed). People who are diagnosed with mental illness often are shelled up within their peer groups. The fear of stigma or feelings of inadequacy cause us to shy away from society. However, this avoidance only breeds ignorance and misunderstanding.

I am not asking anyone to heal the world. However, to break the suffocating stigma around mental illness, more people have to step out into the small domains around them, and work towards becoming who they want to be. But first, one must recognise that what has been happening is in part, a part of us that is under our control. Only then can we build on our strengths and create a life with vision and purpose.

Let’s leave this wretched self-imposed cage behind, shall we?

This is going to be bad

because

-i havent slept

-i have been sleeping between 4-5 am the past few days while going for CNY reunion/visiting

e.g.the day before, i came back after dinner (i don’t have mental capacity to remember where now), but it was about 10 plus and started cleaning the kitchen and dining rooms. I folded at least 1000 plastic bags and catergorised them into small/medium and large and also created a proper recycling area, took the big bag A3 size bag of koped coffee/tea/ketchup/chilli/wasabi/soy sauce/unwantedinstantnoodles/creamer/sugar(all dumped-into that bag) took out one by one, checked expiry dates to chuck and labelled and categorised each item again. then i swept floor, wiped table and if u have come to my house u know how messy our tables are, i cleared them all and wiped and scrubbed off stains and then mopped floor twice but still a bit sticky so tried hand wiping and scrubbing floor but then it was 430am and my mom woke up and said “aiyo, darling, no need la, u need to sleep.”

two days before i did the same for the backyard.am i going crazy?

HELP.

And yesterday night i worked out for about 45 minutes, did 25 minutes on the elliptical machine and 20 mins of youtube burn 200 kcal in 20 mins. (magical socks!) cos know will eat a lot.

then fell asleep on the couch at about 1230am and woke up at 4+5 am. fuck la.

WHAY AM I DOING THIS AGAGIN?????????????

I HAVE CROSSED OVER,

into,

THE TWILIGHT ZONE.

Food for Thought: “Eating the Earth”

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Today, as I did my usual reading of the Straits Times, (Singapore’s main newspaper); This article classified under the “HOME” section caught my eye. Labeled “ScienceFaces”, it features veteran Marine Photographer, Brian Skerry.

Think of nature photography and National Geographic’s breathtaking photographs come to mind. They portray nature in its beautiful, “untouched” state. Yet in reality, we have taken much of the life out of wild life, the purity out of natural sanctuary, and the effects are becoming more and more obvious.

Take a simple example the smog in Beijing. Due to the El Nino phenomenon, wind and rain were lower than usual, and so emissions produced by coal-fired urban heating systems could not be easily dispersed, causing a devastating winter smog that set red alerts off in several cities.

The air quality levels of harmful PM2.5 particles last December in Beijing and surrounding cities in the Hebei province was above 250 micrograms per cubic metre, according to the US Embassy, (which issues independent readings). This was ten times the World Health Organisation’s recommended maximum exposure of 25.

One “solution”, has been 3 storey high Anti-Smog Domes set up in some schools to filter out the harmful PM2.5 particles and keep polluted air out by maintaining a higher air pressure inside. Others are taking trips and heading south or west to “bi mai” or avoid smog. In fact, ‘bi mai’ was the top search term on travel websites during the winter smog period.

Yet, these really, are no solutions at all, as they fail to address the root cause of the problem, which is pollution, (caused by human industrialization and consumption: “Eating the Earth” and all its resources with abandon). These so-called solutions that the Chinese are taking are tantamount to taking medication merely to treat symptoms or to avoid facing the gravity of one’s illness, while hoping one does not die from the long lasting effects of the chronic disease.

I never have been an Environmentalist. Growing up it seemed too “hippie” or “Yuppie” to be Green / Yoga / “New Age One with the Earth-ies”.  But I worry for my actual children, my literal grandchildren. I am not saying “Oh, our grandchildren will bear the conseque…”. Seriously. If this is today. What will tomorrow be?

It is seriously, FUCKING SCARY.

I was just thinking, the other day, that..Honestly, I don’t think we should drive anymore. I mean, at least in Singapore. The MRT is proliferating across the island, so much so that each train station is already, really walking distance to the next, and to anywhere you want to go. Why do you want to pay for parking (especially in town) and ERP and petrol? And if you are the only person in your car, isn’t that quite a waste?

I don’t know, my dad has the opposite thinking. He told me, “I worked my ass off my whole life, I deserve a little comfort now that I’m 65. What other little enjoyments in life do I have but my car?”

When I went to New Zealand, after my O Levels, (that’s like almost, like, half my life ago, now..) I was amazed how my uncle and his wife recycled everything, even their food waste to make compost. and that was half my life ago. What about Singaporeans now. There is so much wastage in the name of consumerism. Plastic bags, Paper bags, Mass-Producing so many useless things and wasting so much resources to Convince people to buy them, only for consumers to use them/or not(!) for a few months and then get bored/unfashionable and be discarded.

How do we break this cycle? How do we get off this slippery slope we have created? Man seems to destroy everything that is put into his hands. Was this God’s intention? Doesn’t He know everything? Did he not know we would destroy not only the earth but ourselves?

I honestly can’t think of any viable solution, World Leaders have tried in so many Summits to come to find solutions.. But I was just reminded of these verses, which I leave you with:

Genesis 45:5-8

And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Genesis 50:20

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Acts 2:23

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

 

Marijuana Suppositories for Period Pain

Apparently, You Can Now Buy Weed For Your Vagina To Cure Period Cramps.

Although the Marijuana Suppositories are currently only available in two states in America, If Bernie Sanders becomes president, and removes the federal prohibition on marijuana it could become more widely available, although it isn’t tested medically…and has an ‘alarmingly high level of THCor tetrahydrocannabinol, the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.

//giphy.com/embed/4a1BW6oEvxPhK

via GIPHY

 

… just a curious random newsflash. 😀

enjoy this cute remix of “Because I got High”

A Beautiful Start to a Day…..

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Under the bridge

A beautiful morning it was. I was headed out early to buy breakfast/lunch for my parents and myself. Managed to catch the sunlight while crossing Under the Adam Flyover to Adam Road Hawker Centre, while this young family was probably heading to school and work..

I was waiting for the famous nasi lemak stall to open since I was early.. I was there at 7:30am? 7:40? So I was just watching the scene there. Even at the Hawker Centre they had made an effort to decorate for Chinese new year.. I was taking a picture of the Ong Lai or pineapples and the Shiny stuff hanging around when my screen caught this uncle clearing up.

Singapore is prided to be a clean city.. But after the Trash souvenirs left at 2015’s Laneway Festival, which even PM Lee felt ‘incensed’ about, comparing that to Myannmar soccer fans picking up litter after a game at the National Stadium… Singapore, he said, needed to move from being a “cleaned city”, to a “clean city”.

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Singapore - Clean-ed City

Who do u expect to pick up after you? This man? At food courts, Hawker Centres or is Ronald McDonald gonna clear your tray? Why have Singaporeans come to expect that our dirty dishes will be taken away for us and worse still…those tables with used cutlery, which we want to sit at, we not only don’t clear – but simply transfer to an adjacent table, so that we can have a clean table in front of us!

Do we really need an ineffective government campaign to pursue a sense of responsibility? Is it not as logical as wiping one’s own ar$e after a poop? Sorry for the rant… It started out a beautiful day….but some one forgot to clear their tray!

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Is he gonna clean up? 😛

“Domains of Happyness”

 

I am studying a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology at Uni now, and in what is the most interesting subject so far, Social Bases of Behaviour: Social Psychology, we just started the term learning about how we think about ourselves and others (“social cognition”).

This example was given: – There are 2 men, both married. One man had dropped out of middle school, and is working hard as a brick layer to support himself and his wife.

The other man had graduated from high school and started a fairly successful business. Not super successful but, making enough profit for his family: himself, his wife and 2 children.

Being his own boss also affords him flexible hours and free time which he spends as a Grassroots Volunteer for the Local Council. He also sings in the church choir every Sunday.

Suddenly, BOTH men’s wives decide to leave them out of the blue. Which man will be more affected?

OK, So one may say that it depends on the quality of the relationship the man has with his wife. However, that is also a different variable altogether that is coming into play. What about if one were to be philosophical about the whole idea? Won’t both men be equally upset, if not, wouldn’t it be impossible to determine whom would be more upset, as all individuals differ in temperament?!?! If this were so, I cannot answer the question, as everything, after all, is subjective and THERE ARE NO ANSWERS…zzz..

BUT thinking in terms of a variable that we CAN work on, the man who runs his own business would likely be better off, while the man who lays bricks would probably be devastated by his wife’s leaving.

This is due to the number of Domains of Self each man has.

The man who lays bricks has only the domains of his job and his wife in his life. Whereas the businessman has many more Domains of Self. Apart from his job and his wife, he also has his 2 children, his work at the Local Council, and his role in the church choir on Sundays. He has a rich life, therefore achievement or failure in one domain doesn’t have such a big impact on his overall life, especially his sense of self.

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Me, with two other VSOP (Very Special Outstanding Performers) choir mates backstage at World Mental Health Day (2012), held at School Of The Arts

I was thinking about this story and a light bulb turned on in my head. OH! This is probably another good reason why my Dr. signed me up to join the hospital choir, which even led to my short solo on World Mental Health Day 2012 at SOTA. The benefits of building more Domains of Self which include improving one’s sense of self and confidence -as well as acting as a buffer against challenges; are why he kept encouraging me to be more active and pick up hobbies, join short courses, enjoy nature and at the same time exercise (yes, we all know the well-documented benefits of exercise).

I mean it seems obvious, but most of us don’t have the leisure (or motivation) to do so.

Okay, so when I was first seeing my Dr. I was just out of the ward and unemployed, looking for a job and also not studying as I am now.. so I had all the time in the world – but you’d be surprised what one can do when you can do everything and anything you want.

Digressing a little, though somewhat relevant…

I knew a group of young people with mental illness, who are not really super unwell, and had all the time in the world.. but they gave up trying to find jobs. They did not lose their jobs because of paranoia or depression – they lost them because of a lack of self-esteem, and a lack of belief in their own ability to perform the task: Thus they failed to learn to do their work. (So they lost their jobs, or quit job after job within a week)

I knew them well, they spent most of their time hanging around town like teenagers, smoking and watching the world go by. The gave up on fighting to live altogether. I am not saying they are at fault, or putting them down, that they are less important or inferior human beings, but I would just like to highlight some common patterns that are quite self-defeatist.

They got into relationships with each other, and the relationships failed, their world would disintegrate. They would attempt suicide and/or be warded.

Why? The only domain in their life was the other person.

Quote - Unstoppable

My Dr. is super perceptive about constructing the foundation for Happyness – Creating more Domains in life. I will definitely strive to Diversify! and build Domains in areas I am Passionate about and try to maintain them.

I have a friend who is trying to eliminate all the things in his life he deems as unnecessary to keep in line with a “Minimalist” Ideal. Well, I hope he reads this one day.

Actually all I wanted to say in the above 800+ words is summed up as the saying goes, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” 😀

A New Brand of Religious Affliation

ISIS claims blood 18-1-16

Ok, so again.. the choice of articles on page A4 of The Straits Times made me think about the desperate emphasis of (positive – much needed.. if you saw the TIME magazine cover:see below…) propaganda again…

On top, the biggest article headlines: “DNA test shows ‘fifth militant’ a bystander in Jakarta attack”, below this article the latest Terror news is juxataposed by: “Man killed in gunfight may be Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist” – so maybe there is hope after all. Finally the last article at the bottom of the page emphasises how more than 400 Sunni Muslims, quote“most of them women, children and elderly people..unquote had been killed in the assault on Deir Ezzor(described as a Massacre)…”.

Is my perspective is certainly warped to think that reporting more than 400 unnecessary deaths is just to make the readers less likely to believe that Islam is the root of all terror and all evil, might as well have a scapegoat right? But then again, 7 dead in JKT including the 4 or 5 attackers should be slightly less painful right(?), since both assaults were carried out in with equally malevolent motivations??


Regarding ‘ISIS claiming credit for blood spilled in its name: Analysts’, which outlines its argument that disillusioned and alienated militants around the world have carried out attacks and claimed affiliation with ISIS due to what the author calls “brand recognition”. The unnamed author (writing from Paris, I see..) claims that although ISIS had vowed to ‘take its fight globally’ it had been too preoccupied with maintaining its caliphate in Syria and Iraq, “apparently”, until the recent spate of global attacks, including JKT, occurred. In the author’s and several analysts’ opinions, it is not really ISIS militants managed by ISIS who have carried out these attacks, but  disillusioned militant who have been fighting with different organisations that have not borne fruit that have only INSPIRED these militants.

If this is to in any way reduce our fear of ISIS building its influence globally, I think the argument is fundamentally flawed. ISIS is, as the Analyst from Woodrow Wilson Centre says, ‘a very dynamic cause’. The very fact that there is brand recognition of the ISIS name, its cause and its distinctive black flag shows how strong ISIS is across the world, even across physical boundaries.. And all this Despite whatever the state of its military affairs in its defence of its caliphate might be. (Got a bit tired of keeping up.. yes it’s that same syndrome I explained a few paragraphs up there.. too far away to think about 400 lives, but 7 killed will wreck u..)

In fact, I would compare the symbolic level that ISIS has reached to that of a cause or religion. If it were Taoism (just e.g.), I may be so fired up about the beliefs that I follow all the actions and instructions that the other Taoist followers that I know also follow. These followers, they have tie ups of course, with their leader – who has tie ups with the main leader in my country – and that guy knows the big boss.

If someone were to question me about my Taoist beliefs, I would get really passionate, for I have essentially indoctrinated myself through the Taoist literature, media, and social or  other types of exposure to immerse myself into. This symbolism is what I feel is a great ‘dynamic cause’ for belief, for faith and for what I must dedicate the energy in my life to.

SO what is the difference even if ISIS didn’t manage or have the means to manage those global attacks? The fact that more and more claims of ISIS attacks are occurring shows that its cause and its symbolism is growing, its power to inspire is growing more and more.

The ISIS Brand of Religious Affiliation has flourished along with some free advertising assistance from the media, social media, internet, hate of Islam, retaliation, etc… oh what horrible things the media can do..

[save the good ole’ Straits Times :D]


Anyway, as promised, here’s a man I really ____ … :p

This cover makes me feel the same Utter, Stupid, Shock I felt when I was in hospital for a month after finally emerging from severe psychosis that I had had for a year (I did not know what was going on in the world); and I saw that American troops had withdrawn from Afghanistan.

trump